Why I’m Thrilled Romney Picked Paul Ryan

The ideological division between the 2012 Presidential candidates just got wider and more defined. For those of us who vote blue, we couldn’t be happier.


Shortly after news broke that Mitt Romney had selected Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, my friend, Matt Davies—the very smart and witty Pulitzer-prize winning editorial cartoonist—made a great comment:

“So the presidential candidate chose a massive lightning rod of a VP to toss red meat to right wing ideologues and shore up the base. But enough about 2008.”

Do Democrats see this as a repeat of Sen. John McCain’s polarizing pick of Sarah Palin? Many do, and with good reason: Ryan may be a liability in the eyes of some very key undecided voters. His selection is surely going to be seen as Romney’s attempt to appeal to those in his party who skew far right.

And look how that turned out for the GOP four years ago.

On the surface, it takes some bite out of one of the complaints the GOP has had about President Obama—that he’s never had ‘real world experience’ in the private sector. Neither has Ryan—he’s a career politician himself. Ryan has no foreign policy experience, unless you count being able to ‘see’ Canada from Wisconsin. But those would be the surface potshots.

In more substantial terms, Romney’s choice will definitely have a ripple effect in ways that will make the Dems happy. It immediately shines a spotlight on some of the right’s biggest vulnerabilities. First and foremost, Ryan’s wide-reaching budget plan that jolted even members of his own party when it was introduced.

It’s been widely quoted that, according to a report in the Atlantic, Romney’s tax rate in 2010 would have only been a mere 0.82 percent. No wonder Mitt likes him. But the issue of releasing tax returns is going to keep following the GOP’s presumptive nominee for POTUS, and the proposed Ryan plan is going to draw even more attention to the issue of how fairly the public is taxed—or not. It strengthens the appearance that Romney and his party stand for cutting taxes for the rich, to the detriment of everyone else.

Swing voters are amongst those who will listen most closely now that Romney has chosen Ryan. Polls show that independents, seniors and women haven’t been fans of the Ryan plan, and it will hurt the GOP not only in the presidential race but across the ballots as well for pivotal Congressional and Senate seats. But even more alarming for the GOP? Ryan’s efforts against Medicare may even put Florida securely in the blue, and be a major strike against the Republican ticket for seniors in general.

Some readers might dismiss that opinion coming from a Democrat, but what if the same thought came from AARP, the non-profit group representing seniors and retirees. AARP’s 2011 report on the Ryan plan was titled, “Medicare in the Crosshairs.” Here’s one point they made out of many:

“An analysis of the Ryan plan by the politically neutral Congressional Budget Office estimates that by 2030, typical 65-year-olds would pay 68 percent of the cost of their coverage out of pocket, compared with the 25 percent share they pay now. In dollar terms, the average 65-year-old’s costs would be more than double from about $6,000 a year under current law to $12,500 by 2022, and would be higher for older people.”

But let’s talk about how choosing Ryan will energize the Democrats.

His budget plan’s cuts pointedly targeted social programs and dug deep and harsh against voters who are most needy, programs the GOP prefers to call entitlement handouts. Coupled with the party’s proposed tax cuts for the rich, the ‘R&R’ team is going to be seen as having an approach that moves too far, too fast, and as willing to leave the needy even more vulnerable.

Now here’s a biggie: Ryan is widely viewed as someone who has aggressively taken on women’s rights and health issues, someone you might even call a ‘General’ in the ‘War on Women.’ Women and younger voters who were undecided will certainly tune in to the fact that Ryan has had women’s rights on his target list from day one.

He is against a woman’s right to choose, and has long been committed to ban abortion, even in cases of incest and rape. He co-sponsored the ‘personhood’ bill that defines life as beginning at conception. He has pushed for defunding Planned Parenthood, which would eliminate health care options for millions of needy women; and he’s decidedly pro-life, according to an interview he gave John McCormack of the Weekly Standard in 2010:

“’I’m as pro-life as a person gets,’ Ryan told me in July. ‘You’re not going to have a truce. Judges are going to come up. issues come up, they’re unavoidable, and I’m never going to not vote pro-life.’”

As for other social issues of importance to democrats, Ryan is also considered unfavorable toward environmental concerns, putting big business needs above all else, and denying global warming science.

That, coupled with his vote against the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and wanting to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage, Paul Ryan is decidedly someone who will get Dems out to the polls in November.

Coming from a libertarian-leaning Republican who wants to keep government out of people’s lives—except women people, it seems; oh and gay soldier people; and breathe fresh air people—Ryan is as invasive as it gets.

Romney’s choice is a strong statement, meant to energize and shore up the GOP’s base. But it also shows the weaknesses in his party’s presumed ticket. As the weight of the Romney-Ryan combo makes more cracks in its own foundation, his VP choice may have served to show just how weak Romney really looks.

Glen K Dunbar August 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM
I just want to go on record as saying I VOTED TODAY ALREADY. Yippee for ME. See how great and reponsible a citizen I am??? Glen
Bruce Berger August 14, 2012 at 01:13 PM
This piece is about as fact-free as one could be. The sources she quotes to support her assertions are nothing more than other op-eds. The one exception may be the AARP quote. However, it should be noted that the current Medicare reform framework that Ryan proposes has been in partnership with Sen. Wyden of Oregon, a Democrat. It is hardly radical and its premium support feature was the core of President Clinton's Medicare reform panel of the late 1990s. It is ok to disagree with someone's proposed policies, but one doesn't promote healthy debate through obfuscation such as the kind that Ms. Herve engages in here.
joe August 14, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Vice President Ryan will articulate to the average American a very clear and present danger. Spending 4 billion more than we have( as Obama has averaged since he's been in office) is dangerous and unsustainable. This energized ticket knew that they would be a target of fear-baiting benefit slashing politicians. However, Ryan can and will articulate the prudent fiscal choices we so desperately need. President Romney made a great choice.
feo mesics August 14, 2012 at 02:42 PM
It is just this kind of asinine comment from Dumb Glenbar that should get him banned permanently from Patch
Charlene August 14, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Freedom of speech allows Glen to say whatever he wants without getting banned, just as it allows you to make your comment against him.
OMG August 14, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Charlene...total misconception. Freedom of speech has nothing to do with the aboslute right to say anything, anytime, anywhere. It regulates what laws pertain to the exercise of free speech and the ability to ban and regulate. Being banned from a website is TOTALLY outside the scope of the First Amendment. Google and see what is allowed by the Constitution as interpreted by SCOTUS.
W. H. Taylor August 14, 2012 at 06:23 PM
that's 4 trillion Joe, not billion--please.
stan August 14, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Let's all remember that we are one people, united by the belief that the liberty we hold dear should be equal for all. With that said, my impression is that Republicans paint President Obama's programs for the poor (non-white) as the cause of our massive budget deficit. If I remember correctly, it was President Bush who, with the approval of congress, initiated two unfunded wars, increased Medicare benefits without funding and, initiated "no child left behind act" which, too was unfunded. None of us can have freedom and liberty without paying a fair and equal price. From what I see, the Republicans seem to think they should have all that is good without having to give up anything; who then is benefitting from entitlements?
S Tadik August 14, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Good job, Glen. Nice to see you happy about something.
Charlene August 14, 2012 at 07:14 PM
@OMG I get your point, but I was reffering to what Glen wrote in this article. Glen wrote nothing in his above post that should be banned. Now if he didn't abide by Patch rules and regulations then feo would be right.
Judge Crater August 14, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Editorial suppression of contrary opinion on a website may soon be challenged in a court of law. While an editor has a right and duty to manage the propriety of comments, it would seem to be contrary to the US First Amendment to suppress the posting of views in opposition to those of the editorial staff. Patch provides an important venue for the expression of political opinions by its readers. With no reference whatsoever to Emily, some liberal blog editors tag opposing views for review and the posts never see the light of day. A challenge may be forthcoming.
RickCharles August 14, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Glen you are a gentleman, a scholar and a fine American.
Obama-Biden 4-more August 14, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Most likely, Dumbar voted for Linda McMahon because he thinks she is running for President and the WWF is real.
Obama-Biden 4-more August 15, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Thank god! McMahon is out! No more Linda McMahon commercials or direct mail. If she donated the money she spent on trying to win nomination to a worthy cause, she would be seen in a much better light. Shays? What is he like 90? Then we have Ryan- Hey Girl?
Obama-Biden 4-more August 15, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Ryan- Forced ulta sound? Medicare vouchers? Reminds me of Reagan? Please. What is this the 80"s Republicans will vote for anyone that supports tax cuts for the rich.
Jeff M August 15, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Atta boy, Glen! Looks like Roosevelt is in for a 5th term!
Bruce Berger August 15, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I don't think so, genius. With 71% of precincts reporting she has 76% of the vote. I know lefties are math-challenged but don't you think she will be the Republican nominee for the US Senate from the State of CT?
Bruce Berger August 15, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Obama-Biden 4-more August 15, 2012 at 01:56 AM
I state my case! McMahon? Who want's to buy shares to the WWF? Sound familiar? How much more will she spend? At least she is keeping the Post Office in business with all her junk mail
Glen K Dunbar August 15, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Actually, NO I did not vote for Linda. She is filthy rich and does NOT need the job or the $$$. Why did She even run???????? I voted for whoever else it was on the form. Glen
Cliff Cuming August 15, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Yet whenever there are problems, people turn to government. Despite the central planners’ long record of failure, few of us like to think that the government which sits atop us, taking credit for everything, could really be all that rotten. The great 20th-century libertarian H.L. Mencken lamented, “A government at bottom is nothing more than a group of men, and as a practical matter most of them are inferior men. ... Yet these nonentities, by the intellectual laziness of men in general ... are generally obeyed as a matter of duty (and) assumed to have a kind of wisdom that is superior to ordinary wisdom.” There is nothing government can do that we cannot do better as free individuals -- and as groups of individuals working freely together. Without big government, our possibilities are limitless.


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